google shopping now allows listing your products for free

google shopping now allows listing your products for free

alphaseopros14, May, 2020 June , 2020

Serious signs of competition between Amazon and Google were first witnessed when the Popular Products feature within Organic Search was rolled out by Google. It enabled retailers to leverage Google’s Merchant Feed and product schemes to get their products highlighted in Organic Search. All the participating retailers got to appear in this feature for free.

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Google announced this year that due to the financial strain caused by COVID-19, they have sped up their timeline and are now offering businesses free of charge inclusion into Google Shopping that was initially available in the US as of May 1st, later followed by other countries.

“Beginning next week, search results on the Google Shopping tab will consist primarily of free listings, helping merchants better connect with consumers, regardless of whether they advertise on Google. With hundreds of millions of shopping searches on Google each day, we know that many retailers have the items people need in stock and ready to ship, but are less discoverable online.

For retailers, this change means free exposure to millions of people who come to Google every day for their shopping needs. For shoppers, it means more products from more stores, discoverable through the Google Shopping tab. For advertisers, this means paid campaigns can now be augmented with free listings. If you’re an existing user of Merchant Center and Shopping ads, you don’t have to do anything to take advantage of the free listings, and for new users of Merchant Center, we’ll continue working to streamline the onboarding process over the coming weeks and months.”

The Google Shopping results will appear to be quite similar to that of organic results, including Paid results at the top/bottom and Organic results in the middle.

google-shopping

Those new to the Merchant Center should know that creating an account will let them feed product details and information directly to Google. You do not have to wait for it to get picked up from your product schema. Additionally, there are a ton of other useful features.

Google also announced building ties with various other platforms to further simplify processing sales.

“We’re also kicking off a new partnership with PayPal to allow merchants to link their accounts. This will speed up our onboarding process and ensure we’re surfacing the highest quality results for our users. And we’re continuing to work closely with many of our existing partners that help merchants manage their products and inventory, including Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce, to make digital commerce more accessible for businesses of all sizes.”

Action Plan – With this permanent change, the opportunity is here to stay. But if you are selling products online, you should definitely make it a point to get started with this as soon as possible. All you need is a
Google Merchant Center account and you will have to opt into surfaces across Google in order to show up in the Organic Google Shopping results.

Know that product markup will help Google understand your products well for features like Popular Products. So get it done as well.

For further guidance, use Google’s Help center page or get in touch with us to get your products listed on Google!

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Google aims gmb to become more powerful 2 post covid-19

Google aims gmb to become more powerful 2 post covid-19

alphaseopros14, May, 2020 June , 2020

Google My Business (GMB) has become one of the most significant aspects for local SEOs as well as the one-stop-shop for consumers to know about store hours, closures, services offered, and other relevant information.

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Shifting Engagement on GMB: Consumer engagement has changed considerably during the pandemic, as shown by the click and call data. With this, online buying behavior has also been impacted.

For example, the search query “takeout near me” has spiked way up as compared to those for “restaurant reservations” since at-home orders came into force.

search-comparison

Directions, Clicks, Calls and Reviews: Although requests for directions have come down considerably since the COVID-19 outbreak, there hasn’t been much of an effect on calls and website visits driven by
GMB. According to new data from Reputation.com, “GMB driving-direction clicks are down 60% across all verticals.” Website clicks and calls have decreased by 31% & 21%, respectively.

When it comes to GMB, Reputation.com reports a notable decline in retail, restaurant and automotive industry but also a modest recovery in consumer engagement. This could very well be the catalyst in
online shopping and e-commerce spending driven by stimulus checks and by the thought that we’re almost at the end of the lockdown period.

Being hit by the pandemic, Google had stopped publishing new comments from users & replies from business owners until now. Reviews are making their way back in, and it will be interesting to see if and how the patterns have changed amid the lockdown.

gmb-local-line-business

Post-COVID, GMB will continue to be a local business lifeline: As businesses reopen, local marketers can once again turn to GMB for operating hours, products and service availability. GMB could emerge more powerful than ever post COVID-19 with local features such as posts that allow businesses to communicate seamlessly and have a high chance of gaining wider adoption and prominence, with Google possibly accelerating the rollout of other tools in the pipeline.

According to a survey by BrightLocal, 68% of local marketing experts said GMB was more crucial at this time than it was a year ago. Even Moz’s recent Local Ranking Factors study concluded that the top ranking factor for Google Local Pack and #4 for local SEO is GMB signals. Another survey by BrightLocal concluded that 87% of local marketers considered growing reviews to be the most important to local marketing success.

gmb-task

Not to forget the fake reviews problem faced by Google, fighting spam (fake listings, illegitimate reviews) on Google was #2 to local marketing success.

Why It Matters: Get ready to experience a huge evolution of GMB. Local search will be redefined and will not be limited to using tools and information to make purchase decisions offline. GMB is no longer just a way to get content to Google but rather a dynamic channel streamlining transactions between consumers and business owners.

There will be a much tighter integration of digital tools such as inventory, booking, ordering and payments with offline fulfillment post-COVID. TheOrderingApp.com and Pointy are examples of how Google is trying to bridge the gap between digital and offline operations while being a trusted, back-office-like platform for local businesses.

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Ideas to update your digital presence amid the pandemic

Ideas to update your digital presence amid the pandemic

alphaseopros14, May, 2020 June , 2020

The COVID-19 outbreak has forced people over the world to stay home, and this has made all kinds of businesses realize that their websites just became 10 times more important. During this time, upgrading your business’s digital presence is more vital than ever before.

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The smallest of changes can yield big results. Keeping this in mind, we bring to you a list of some pretty solid ideas to take your digital presence up a notch.

  • Look for ways to improve your website’s loading speed.
  • Identify the most frequently visited pages on your website and see if you can improve the content, add videos, etc. to help with conversion.
  • Create and upload explanation videos for your products and/or services.
  • Upload useful blogs on a regular basis.
  • Add more visually attractive elements to your website such as infographics.
  • If possible, project case studies that will help users to better understand your products and / or services.
  • Try and see if you can create a converting landing page for your products and/or services.
  • Convert all your PDF forms to digital and, if possible, add signature service as well.
  • See if you can add a Review widget to your website.
  • Consider going the eCommerce way.
  • Shipping automation can be of great help.
  • Take measures to strengthen website security.
  • Backup your website.
  • Make sure all the website/plugins issues that have been on the backburner so far are resolved immediately.
  • Integrate all your current systems, including CRM, ERP, Forms, Shipping, etc.
  • Update the Careers page on your website. If you still don’t have one, add it!
  • Come up with a contest for your users or offer giveaways.
  • If possible, add a giveaway pop-up or email form.
  • Add detailed, searchable FAQ to your website.
  • If you have a WordPress website, it better be on a managed platform.
  • Look into WordPress site speed optimization.

Final Takeaway

This is the perfect time for you to go for all the digital upgrades that have been taking a backseat because you were so busy with other aspects of your business. In order to ensure your business survives the pandemic, update your digital presence to make it as approachable for the users as possible.

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Should you invest in digital marketing during this crisis?

Should you invest in digital marketing during this crisis?

alphaseopros5, May, 2020 2020 , May

Yes, these are uncalled times. As the global economy reels from the impact of COVID-19, many SMB owners are forced to ask tough questions and make tough decisions concerning the future of their business.

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Yes, businesses are going to struggle for a while amid the COVID-19 crisis. But the reality is – businesses can thrive in downtimes. And many of the successful ones will choose to invest in online marketing.

From our experience of two major crashes (the 2000 dotcom crash and the 2008 real estate crash), we can tell you that the best time to double down is when others are not.

As Warren Buffet once famously quoted – “Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful”

With more people working from home, consumers are relying on the Internet more than ever. In fact, even during a quarantine, people rely on Google search to look for services and products. This means businesses will still require digital marketing to keep up with the demand.

All we can say is this: Now is the time for social distancing, not forgetting about digital marketing.

In fact, during this outbreak, companies like Google and Facebook are offering millions in Ad Credits to keep businesses afloat. Google has offered USD 340M in ad credits (a part of a larger USD 800M+ commitment). On the other hand, Facebook has promised USD 100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses. You should try and see if you qualify for this and can utilize these great offers. Not just big companies, but even small businesses are offering great deals and offers to help their clients tide over this crisis. Think of potential ideas/offers for your clients.

Eventually, COVID-19 will end and things will normalize. The US may have a few weeks left to ride out before the Coronavirus is less of a threat. Once life returns to normal, the need for law firms, doctors, home services, and other businesses will fully resume. Other businesses like restaurants will have to adapt to more online orders via website or food delivery apps.

The demand for essential goods and food has also skyrocketed and businesses like Walmart, Instacart, Amazon, Dominos, and others are hiring like crazy (more than 300K people) to keep up.

The key here is not to press the panic button now and make a knee-jerk decision that might hurt your business. One such rash decision would be to halt your digital marketing efforts.

We know investing in digital marketing can be intimidating during this time. But, by continuing your marketing efforts now, you are more likely to have an established presence when this uncertainty comes to an end. Thus, your return on investment will be bigger by acting now.

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Google makes a host of changes to google my business due to covid-19

Google makes a host of changes to google my business due to covid-19

alphaseopros5, May, 2020 2020 , May

The unprecedented COVID-19 situation across the globe has taken a toll on businesses of all kinds. As countries get into lockdown and maintain social distancing to control the spread of the virus, the effects have started to show even on Google! Therefore, a new set of guidelines has been introduced for how the Google My Business’ Support Team would work during these hard times.

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Following are the changes announced:

Google has taken steps to ensure the health and safety of its team during COVID-19 by reducing the need of people in their office:

  • Temporary limitations on Google My Business.
  • Critical services will be prioritized and could lead to a delay in customer support.

Google is currently focused on providing quality, reliable and relevant information on Google Search and Maps. The company is dedicated to providing users the ease of access to communicate with businesses to know about vital features such as operating hours, special hours, and more. During such testing times, learn the best practices for affected business and what you can do to keep your customers updated at all times.

The temporary product changes made by Google are:

1. Business Information edits

High priority will be on reviews for edits critical to health-related businesses. Also, reviews will be prioritized for open & closed states, special hours, temporary closure, business description, and business attributes edits for other verified businesses.

2. New Listings, Claims and Verifications

All new listings, claims, and verifications will be manually reviewed by our support team for critical healthrelated businesses. Due to the priority given to such critical services, there will be a delay in publishing new
listings, claims and verifications on Google Search and Maps for other businesses.

3. Reviews and Q&A

New reviews, replies and Q&A will not be available during this time.

Note: You can now mark your business as “temporarily closed” – a new addition to their system that is being used widely all over the world. Google has also stated that moving your status to temporarily closed will not have any negative impact on your listing.

Our take:

The world is going through testing times right now, and Google has done a great job with their temporary changes as they restrict users from leaving negative reviews due to closure, cancellations, etc.

In fact, businesses can ask customers to leave reviews directly, making it easy to grow their in-house reviews that can later be marked up with Structured Data.

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Google offers $800+ million support to smbs amid covid-19 crisis

Google offers $800+ million support to smbs amid covid-19 crisis

alphaseopros5, May, 2020 2020 , May

During these unprecedented times, Google is benevolently offering support to the SMB community nationwide in response to COVID-19. Being a Google Partner, we are happy to inform you that Google is committing over $800 Million in Ads Grant money to help alleviate some of the cost for small and mediumsized businesses (SMBs) to stay in touch with their customers during this challenging time.

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The $800+ Million in Google Ads Grants includes:

  • $340 million in Google Ads credits to ALL small and mid-sized businesses with active accounts since Jan 2019. These credits can be used until the end of 2020.
  • $250 million in ad grants for the World Health Organization (WHO) & hundreds of government agencies.
  • $200 million in support for NGOs and financial institutions that are needed to provide access to capital for small businesses.
  • $15 million in cash grants for Non-Profit Organizations from Google.org
  • $20 million in Google Cloud credits for academic institutions and researchers
  • Additional direct financial support for manufacturers of products and services that are critical to the nation during this time.

We’re here to help our partners, businesses, and health organizations secure these Google Grants to ensure your operations stay up and running at this time.

Do not miss out on this opportunity!

Reach out to our team to understand how you can avail these Ads credits, or if we can assist your business during this crisis.

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